Friday, August 26, 2011

CBC digital transition in Winnipeg delayed

Readers of my blog won't be surprised to hear that the CBC has apparently delayed their Winnipeg transition exactly one month, to September 30th.

They claim on their website page about the digital transition (hidden rather well from casual observers) that there have been unforeseen circumstances. They need to reinforce their towers with steel before they can be safely installed, and that they cannot be installed until later in September (CBC is going with September 30th).

First of all, CBC is NOT allowed to keep broadcasting in Winnipeg in analogue past August 31st. They would need CRTC approval. While they did get approval for other markets, Winnipeg was not included in the list. NOR SHOULD IT BE. When Fox KNRR asked the FCC for a delay because of spring floods, they were told no. That is because the FCC is an effective government body that works in the interests of the American people. Whereas the CRTC is an ineffective government body that works in the interests of a few wealthy corporate interests.

The CBC had ample time to do a site survey and obtain the necessary parts and tools. They delayed and they hemmed and hawed and cried for more money or what have you. In my opinion this is no unforeseen circumstance, but a planned delay. Perhaps until the next fiscal quarter/year for budgetary purposes (I speculate, anyways). Either way, I was against the delay for the CBC in other markets, and I am against giving the CBC leeway in my own.

The CBC is Canada's public broadcaster, but management seems to have little interest in public broadcasting. Winnipeg is a MANDATORY MARKET for switching to digital. Why does it take a month to procure the necessary steel? If it was a matter of waiting a week, I'd be fine, but a month is unacceptable. To announce this less than a week before the digital cutoff date is pathetic and negligent. Shame on the CBC, shame on CBC Management (who have shown incompetence above and beyond what I've expected).

** UPDATE Oct 25 2011 **

Still no HD signal Over the Air in Winnipeg.  The CBC website still states a few more weeks away.  Looks like we won't be seeing CBC in digital until mid november at the earliest.. but if my theory is correct, they're waiting for the next fiscal quarter in January 2011.  If that happens, not only will Winnipegers have missed the opening game against Montreal on CBC over the air in High Definition, but Also the Saturday December 17th 2011 game against the Anaheim Ducks with the return (perhaps for the last time) of Teemu Selanne.  People are mad at Shaw for missing one period, but CBC continues to get a free pass for missing the digital deadline in Winnipeg by 2 months now.  Enough is Enough.  If this bothers you, contact your local Winnipeg MP.  The CBC is supposed to be accountable to them.  Make them so.


Christian Cassidy said...

I'll be pissed if I have to miss my Coronation Street for a month !

The View from Seven said...

More controversy still to come: I see that a few people are starting to catch on to the fact that it won't be an analog-to-digital conversion for over-the-air viewers in parts of southern Manitoba: it'll be an analog-to-nothing (or next-to-nothing) conversion.

Portage la Prairie: Currently within rabbit ears range under analog. Will have a very weak "deep fringe" signal under digital, requiring a farmer-style 40-foot tower and a high-gain antenna in the backyard

Carman: Currently within rabbit ears range; will need a rooftop antenna under digital.

Steinbach: Currently within rabbit ears range; will go to marginal indoor reception under digital.

Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson: Will have no CBC signal at all after the old analog Channel 6 signal goes off the air.

Amazingly, when the matter came up before the CRTC, they didn't receive a single intervention against the CBC's plan, so they rubber-stamped it on the grounds that no one seemed to object. We'll see if that's still the case in October!

reedsolomon.matr1x at said...

the CRTC website is the most user unfriendly website I've ever seen. No wonder people don't file anything.